Parole Hearings Division
The Board of Parole Hearings Division functions as a supporting element to the Board in carrying out its statutory mandate to conduct parole hearings. Hearings Officers are vital to the Board's prudent and orderly release of adult felons. In their capacity as fact finders, Hearings Officers function as an extension of the Board in accordance with TCA 40-28-105. Parole Hearings Officers are appointed by the Chair of the Board of Parole and are empowered to conduct parole hearings in local jails, Department of Correction institutions and other detention facilities throughout the state for all eligible offenders, and to provide Board Members with non-binding recommendations.
The Tennessee Board of Parole makes the schedule of parole hearings available for the convenience of the public. This list is updated each Monday, unless that day is a holiday. When a Monday holiday occurs, the list will be updated on Tuesday. To view the current schedules for Tennessee State Prisons and County jails, follow the links below.
Structure & Responsibility
Parole Hearings Officers function as an extension of the Board in the parole hearing process. In accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated TCA 40-28-105(d) (2), Hearing Officers are appointed by the Chair of the Board of Parole to conduct parole hearings and make non-binding recommendations for review by Board Members.
The organizational structure of the Parole Hearing Officers Division consists of a Central Office component and four parole hearing regions. The Parole Hearings Director, assisted by the Parole Hearings Assistant Director, has statewide responsibility for the operation and effectiveness of the division. Each of the four parole hearing regions is under the direct supervision of a Parole Hearings Regional Supervisor, who functions in the dual capacity of supervisor and hearings officer. An administrative secretary assigned to each region provides administrative support.
In making a parole hearing recommendation, the Hearings Officer reviews the offender's Board of Parole hearing file and institutional file, as well as other essential information that may impact the outcome of the hearing. This information may include but is not limited to:
- Recommendations and statements from institutional staff, family members and members of the community in support or opposition;
- Testimony of interested parties who are in support or opposition;
- Proposed release plan and information provided by the offender;
- Offender views on how he or she will be successful on parole supervision;
- Social and criminal history;
- Prior supervision history in the criminal justice system;
- Circumstances of the current offense(s);
- Institutional record and program participation;
- Evidence and testimony pertaining to parole revocation;
- Other information deemed relevant to the hearing.
In addition to the information referenced above, Parole Hearings Officers utilize several advisory instruments in the parole hearing process. The risk assessment instrument is used as one means of assessing the risk level of offenders being considered for release. Other advisory instruments used are the Guidelines for Release and Revocation Guidelines. These instruments, although advisory, are critical to maintaining consistency and credibility in the parole hearing recommendation and decision-making process.
Board Members review all recommendations made by the Hearing Officers and may adopt, modify or reject the recommendation. Pursuant to statute, three concurring votes by Board Members constitutes a final parole decision for some conviction offenses, while four concurring votes are required for most violent conviction offenses. Two concurring votes are required to revoke parole.